Why It’s So Critical To Have a Plan in Place for End of Life

valley memorial

There’s an old saying: nothing is certain except for death and taxes. An even then, taxes can vary, based on one’s income, current laws, age and living situations. 

But the passing of a loved one is one of life’s inevitabilities. It will all happen to us at one time or another: we lose our parents, our siblings, perhaps even our spouse. It changes our lives forever. A loved one’s death fills our heads with sadness and a sense of fogginess. We need to make decisions quickly, but when a cloud of grief envelopes us, it makes things difficult. 

valley memorial

“Having to plan a funeral and make arrangements with little notice is very challenging for pretty much everyone,” says Sherri Jacobs, marketing director of Valley Memorial Park Cemetery & Funeral Home in Novato. “When it happens, people want to honor their loved ones and follow their wishes in the best possible and loving way, but it’s so hard to think clearly. That’s why we really encourage people to plan ahead of time, use our pre-planning guide and speak with our pre-planning counselor to make things smoother for your loved ones at the time of your passing.” 

Valley Memorial Park has been locally owned since 1960 and is located amongst lush, peaceful green hills in Novato. This community-centric business that offers a wide range of services and facilities. Options for burial include traditional burials on beautifully maintained grounds, green burials in a natural setting, on-site cremation and an on-site mausoleum with crypts and niches.

valley memorial

In 2016, Valley Memorial expanded its space and capabilities to become a full-service funeral home. In addition to its vintage chapel, it now has an events center for memorials and celebration of life services. There are special services available honoring eligible active and former military members and veterans

Green burials are resonating more and more with Marin families, according to Jacobs. This eco-friendly option allows families to use natural burial materials, such as linen shrouds, a wicker basket or other sustainable wood only caskets, and host a burial service in Valley Memorial’s Garden of Tranquility — an area that is green in the winter, bursting with wildflowers in the spring, and transitions to golden hills in the summer and fall. Behind the Garden of Tranquility are several walking trails to allow friends and family to reflect as they take a stroll. 

valley memorial

Valley Memorial Park is a caring community citizen. It sponsors free, monthly estate planning workshops on the last Wednesday of each month at Vivalon, plus is a proud sponsor with Marin Giving, and sponsors a booth each year at the Novato Festival of Art, Wine and Music. 

“We are here for the community and for Marin families facing the most difficult time of their lives,” adds Jacobs. “Our greatest goal is to make the experience as easy as we can for families — from the first hour of passing to the funeral service, burial and celebration of life.”

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A freelance writer in Marin who writes about family, kids and parenting, Glass is the mother to one son, one dog and a hamster named Miss Geri. When she’s not writing, trekking up steep hills in Marin or driving her kid to sports practice, she and her family spend time in their tiny cabin in Lake Tahoe. She avidly supports the California Academy of Sciences, a world class science museum and research institution, and the Institute on Aging which provides much needed services to Bay Area seniors and disabled adults. Glass is obsessed with baking the perfect loaf of banana bread, something she makes so often she no longer needs to look at a recipe card.